Every morning I am greeted by the world’s greatest smile.  My daughter Joree has   many special needs.   Shortly after dawn I amble into her room and start some music on her CD player.  Within a minute she is vocalizing to the music, sharing shrills and shrieks of laughter and joy.   In 21 years she has never risen any different.  She has only a few words she can communicate but an endless number of sounds and giggles.  Every morning…every day…45 minutes of pure joy and laughter before she heads off to her day program.

Today, I was struck by that joy.  I don’t believe Joree comprehends what emotions are.  She will cry when she is in physical pain.  She gets annoyed with a few simple circumstances.  The majority of her day she exhibits joy. How can that be?  One would assume that in her condition there would be anger, depression, or anxiety.  Instead, it is laughter, smiles, shouts of excitement.  I don’t believe she understands that she has a sinful nature. Why doesn’t her sinful nature show itself?  Why isn’t she mean and demanding?  Why  is the sinful nature we all struggle with everyday not part of her behavior?

In a word…compassion.  I also believe that my Lord knows Joree’s heart.  His eternal, unconditional love, and His unequaled compassion hold her heart in His every day and all she knows is JOY.   I look at Joree’s disabilities and I see pain and suffering and despair.
Jesus sees Joree with nothing but love. I think Joree has it better than all of us.

About Bill Harbeck

Founder and Director of Holding on to Hope Ministries. A non-profit work that helps survivors of childhood sexual abuse unveil their past and begin the healing process. Author of the book Shattered; One Man's Journey from Childhood Sexual Abuse
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